Every once in a while we all pine for a patch of greenery in London. That's probably why punters seem so taken with this little hideaway of a garden on the rooftop of Culpeper pub on Commercial Street. This roof space, just a stone's throw from the City's skyscrapers, is used to grow veggies and herbs that feature on the gastro pub's modern menu, so it's double the gherkin up here.
There are a few rustic tables parked between climbing vines, or benches to perch on beside planters flourishing with herbaceous life, but in truth, seating is scant, making this a very desirable spot for some peas and quiet. As a result, drifters hover around the entrance to the fourth-floor terrace hoping to snap up a seat – you're best advised to book ahead for sunset snacks and supping.
It’s worth the advance thought, as the dedicated cocktail bar sits under a glass atrium at the entrance and churns out unique beverages channeling the twee garden charm. Try a lemon-thyme ambrosia (£7.50), which isn’t as soft as it sounds thanks to brandy, calvados and prosecco all in the mix. A garden julep even samples a herb of the day added to lemon and bourbon.
Also perched by the entrance is a wood-fired grill barbecuing delicious meats and sides for a well-rounded meal or the likes of Merguez sausages (£4) and Piedmontese peppers (£4) for a lighter bite. Food up here is just as good as on the gastropub’s restaurant floor, but a word of warning: you may be in for a smoky old time if the wind’s blowing in the wrong direction.